The Chicago Blackhawks are preparing to embark on their annual circus trip this week, but before they leave the Windy City they were forced to make several roster moves.
The first among those was that they had to place defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk on long-term injured reserve Monday. The move means that the rookie will miss at least ten games for the Blackhawks, but judging by how concerned the team was with his health after he was hurt in Sunday’s game against the Dallas Stars, it could be a longer-term absence than that.
To replace van Riemsdyk, the Blackhawks called up defenseman Stephen Johns from the Rockford IceHogs. Johns, who was a second-round pick of the Blackhawks in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, has five assists so far this season for Rockford, and he will look to make his NHL debut at some point during the coming road trip. Michal Rozsival and David Rundblad will likely make plenty of starts in the interim, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Johns hit the ice at some point with two sets of back-to-back games on the itinerary.
The Blackhawks also recalled goaltender Antti Raanta from the IceHogs. The team sent him down in order to get him some game action before their road trip, and he picked up a 3-2 victory on Sunday afternoon for the IceHogs. Raanta will take Scott Darling’s place on the roster, as the goaltender was sent back down to Rockford after backing up Corey Crawford on Sunday against the Stars.
Finally, the Hawks sent down Joakim Nordstrom after Sunday’s game. With Raanta’s return and Johns’ call-up, the team has $414,000 in salary cap space, and so they can’t afford to carry a 23rd skater at the moment.
The Hawks will next take the ice on Thursday night when they battle the Calgary Flames to start the circus trip.